MKS-50 ZONE
MKS-50 ZONE
This page contains MKS‑50, Alpha Juno‑1 And Alpha Juno‑2 information about;

MKS-50 ZONE FAQ - Manuals, Service, Troubleshooting, And Factory Presets
MKS-50 ZONE ROM IC VERSIONS - Revisions And Bug Fixes
MKS-50 ZONE SPECS - Dimensions, Power, Audio Output, ROM And RAM
MKS-50 ZONE ENCODER REPLACEMENT - A Low Cost Encoder DIY And Super Easy!
MKS-50 ZONE BATTERY REPLACEMENT - Internal Battery
MKS-50 ZONE ACCESSORIES - PG‑300, BCR2000, KIWI‑PE, M‑64C, EV‑5, DP‑2 And FS‑1
MKS-50 ZONE ERROR MESSAGES - Common Error Messages And Troubleshooting
MKS-50 ZONE SYSEX ELEMENTS - Commands specific to the MKS-50 and Alpha Juno's


MKS-50 ZONE     MKS-50 ZONE MKS-50 ZONE - BATTERY MKS-50 ZONE     MKS-50 ZONE


ANIMATED_STAR I think this topic is important enough to place at the top of all my synth INFO webpages

POWER_TRANSISTORS
I buy a lot of broken gear on eBay and I'm able to fix about 90% of everything I find. It's usually a simple fix. If you have a synth with no power or intermittent problems after it warms up, it's probably due to the fact that back in the 1980's Roland and other synth makers used sub‑par solder and/or not enough solder to hold components in place. After 30+ years, the solder begins to break down and hairline fractures appear. This occurs at a higher rate for components which generate a lot of heat like Bridge Rectifiers, Power Transistors, large Electrolytic Capacitors, power input jacks and audio sockets which get a lot of use. The best approach is to use a magnifying glass and carefully inspect the backside of the circuit board. If you spot any suspect areas, re‑flow a hefty amount of NEW solder


* * * FAQ: MKS-50 / Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 10 (HS-10) / SynthPlus 80 (HS-80) * * *


QUESTION
                         
ANSWER
Where Can I Find An Owner's Manual For MKS-50, Alpha Juno And SynthPlus Synthesizers?          SUPER JX MKS-50 Owner's Manual (v.86-11)

         SUPER JX Alpha Juno-1 Owner's Manual (v.85-12)

         SUPER JX Alpha Juno-2 Owner's Manual (v.88-2)

         SUPER JX SynthPlus 10 [HS-10] Owner's Manual (v.86-2)

         SUPER JX SynthPlus 80 [HS-80] Owner's Manual (v.86-4)


FREE Owner's Manuals for almost every synthesizer and effects device can be found at MidiManuals.com;

         SUPER JX midimanuals.com
Where Can I Find Service Manuals And Schematics?          SUPER JX MKS-50 Service Notes (v.87-1)

         SUPER JX Alpha Juno-1 / SynthPlus 10 Service Notes (v.85-12)

         SUPER JX Alpha Juno-2 Service Notes (v.86-1)


Gigantic collection of Service Manuals w/schematics may be downloaded FREE at this link.
These are the highest quality PDF's on the Internet   SUPER JX synfo.nl
What Do The MKS-50, Alpha Juno-1, Alpha Juno-2, SynthPlus 10 And SynthPlus 80 Synthesizers Sound Like? André Vézina put together an incredible video demo which shows these powerful synthesizers in action

         SUPER JX http://youtu.be/TKpC13qdnbQ

Video Demo Video Demo

How Do I Restore The Factory Preset Tones Into The Internal Memory Of An MKS-50, Alpha Juno-1, Alpha Juno-2, SynthPlus 10 Or SynthPlus 80? To restore the factory preset Tones, you will need a Mac or a PC with a generic SysEx loader program

* Note: If your synth locks up at the Bulk Load MIDI.o message, try adjusting the transmit settings of your SysEx program to a slower speed

MKS-50
[ WARNING!!! Everything in the internal memory will be erased! ]

1) Connect MIDI Out and MIDI In cables between the MKS-50 and the computer
2) Press [ TUNE/MIDI ] and the display will read TUNE > 442 <
3) Press [ PARAM ∇ ] and then press [ VALUE ∇ ] until all of the settings look like this;

       MIDI CHANNEL=  1 
       MIDI OMNI   = OFF 
       MIDI PROG.CG= ON  
       PCH ASG MODE= ON 
       TX C.M. APR = ON 
       TX PATCH APR= ON 
       TX TONE APR = ON 
       MEM. PROTECT= OFF
4) Press [ DATA TRANSFER ] then press [ PARAM ∇ ] until the Display reads Bulk*Load (Notice the *Asterisk* !!!)
5) Press [ VALUE ∇ ] until the Display reads Bulk*Load [T-a] (Notice the *Asterisk* !!!)
6) Press [ WRITE ] and the display will read Bulk*Load -Run-
7) Use the SysEx loader program on your computer to send the SysEx file to the MKS-50 (See the PATCHES page for Factory Preset *.SYX Files)
8) The MIDI MESSAGE LED on the MKS-50 front panel should now be flashing while the data is being sent

Successful Transmission? The display reads Bulk*Load ..END.

Failed Transmission? The display reads Bulk DT-MISMATCH
This indicates the wrong transfer mode was selected or the *.SYX file is not valid.
Try it again using Bulk*Load [T-a] not Bulk*Load [P-A]. Re-check your settings and/or the *.SYX file.

Optional
To Load Patch Parameter Files and Chord Memory files, use the same procedures as shown above for loading Tones but instead use;
      Bulk*Load [P-A] for Patch Parameter Files or Bulk*Load [CM ] for Chord Memory Files
      Select an appropriate companion file to match your Tone file names
      These factory Patch Parameter files and Chord Memory files are included in the MKS50_Alpha_Juno_Collection-A.zip file
      available for downloading at the TONES page;
            x-PatchParameters-MKS50-FACTORYA.SYX
            x-PatchParameters-MKS50-FACTORYB.SYX
            x-ChordMemory-MKS50.SYX

There is also an undocumented shortcut to quickly transfer all of the Tone names in Tone Group 'b' to Patch Group 'B' however, it will erase all of the Tones in Tone Group 'a' and restore them to the factory defaults
      1) Load a bank of Tones into Tone Group 'b' then hold the [4] + [8] buttons during the next power-up
      2) All Group 'b' Tone names will overwrite all Group 'B' Patch names leaving all the Tone Group 'b' data intact


Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2
[ WARNING!!! Everything in the internal memory will be erased! ]

1) Connect MIDI OUT and MIDI IN cables between the Alpha Juno and the computer
2) Set the MEMORY PROTECT SWITCH on the back of the keyboard to the OFF position
3) Press [ MIDI ] and the display will read MIDI CH = #
4) Turn the α-Dial until all of the settings look like this;

       MIDI CHANNEL= 1
       MIDI OMNI   = OFF
       MIDI LOCAL  = ON
       MIDI AFTER  = ON
       MIDI BENDER = ON
       MIDI EXCL   = ON
       MIDI HOLD   = ON
       MIDI PROG C = ON
       MIDI VOLUME = ON
       MIDI PORTA  = ON
4) Press [ DATA TRANSFER ] - [ WRITE ] - [ BULK LOAD ] all at the same time until the display reads Bulk Load MIDI.o (Notice the lowercase 'o' !!!)
5) Use the SysEx loader program on your computer to send the SysEx file to the Alpha Juno (See the PATCHES page for Factory Preset *.SYX Files)


SynthPlus 10 / SynthPlus 80
[ WARNING!!! Everything in the internal memory will be erased! ]

1) Connect MIDI OUT and MIDI IN cables between the Alpha Juno and the computer
2) Set the MEMORY PROTECT SWITCH on the back of the keyboard to the OFF position
3) Press [ MIDI ] and the display will read MIDI CH = #
4) Turn the α-Dial until all of the settings look like this;

       MIDI CHANNEL= 1
       MIDI OMNI   = OFF
       MIDI LOCAL  = ON
       MIDI AFTER  = ON
       MIDI BENDER = ON
       MIDI EXCL   = ON
       MIDI HOLD   = ON
       MIDI PROG C = ON
       MIDI VOLUME = ON
       MIDI PORTA  = ON
4) Press and hold [ WRITE ] - [ DATA TRANSFER ] - [ BULK LOAD ] in that order and the display reads Bulk Load MIDI.o (Notice the lowercase 'o' !!!)
5) Use the SysEx loader program on your computer to send the SysEx file to the Alpha Juno (See the PATCHES page for Factory Preset *.SYX Files)
How Do I Save Tone Banks Of An MKS-50, Alpha Juno-1, Alpha Juno-2, SynthPlus 10 Or SynthPlus 80? MKS-50
1) Set the MKS-50 as shown above for the procedure "Restore The Factory Preset Tones"
2) Run any generic SysEx capture program on your computer and set it to record SysEx data
3) Press [ DATA TRANSFER ] then press [ PARAM ∇ ] until the Display reads Bulk*Dump (Notice the *Asterisk* !!!)
4) Press [ VALUE ∇ ] until the LCD Display reads Bulk*Dump [T-a] (Notice the *Asterisk* !!!)
5) Press [ WRITE ] and the display will read Bulk*Dump -Run-
6) Your generic SysEx program should now be capturing SysEx data from the synthesizer
7) When the LCD Display Window displays Bulk*Dump -End-, save the data as a SysEx file

Alternatively, you can also;
      • Save 'Tone Bank b' by setting the LCD Display to read Bulk*Dump [T-b]
      • Save Patch Parameters using Bulk*Dump [P-A] or Bulk*Dump [P-B]
      • Save Chord Memory using Bulk*Dump [CM ]


Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 10 / SynthPlus 80
1) Set the synthesizer as shown above for the procedure "Restore The Factory Preset Tones"
2) Run any generic SysEx capture program on your computer and set it to record SysEx data
3) Press and hold [ WRITE ] - [ DATA TRANSFER ] - [ BULK LOAD ] in that order

    The following will appear in the LCD Display Window;

        Bulk Dump MIDI.o (Notice the lowercase 'o' !!!)

4) Your generic SysEx program should now be capturing SysEx data from the synthesizer
5) When the LCD Display Window displays Bulk Dump MIDI.End, save the data as a SysEx file
I Can't Get My Synth To Communicate With My Computer When Using A Librarian Or SysEx Program. What Should I Check?

MKS-50
1) Is the MIDI Channel set to 1?
    Press [ TUNE/MIDI ] and the display will read TUNE > 442 <
    Press [ PARAM ∇ ] and use [ VALUE ∇ ] until the display reads MIDI CHANNEL= 1
2) Is the computer Sound Card, MIDI Controller, SysEx Librarian, etc... set to MIDI Channel 1?
3) Is the computer Sound Card, MIDI Controller, SysEx Librarian, sending MIDI data to the MKS-50?
4) Make sure the patch librarian or SysEx program can send and receive SysEx data to and from the MKS-50
5) Do you have two MIDI cables connected? Two are required because SysEx uses both MIDI IN and MIDI OUT


Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 10 / SynthPlus 80
The most common communication errors are with System Exclusive so start with that one;
1) Is System Exclusive turned ON? Press [ MIDI ] until MIDI EXCL appears. Turn the α-Dial until until the display reads MIDI EXCL = ON
2) Is the MIDI Channel set to 1? Use the same procedure as above until the display reads MIDI CHANNEL= 1
3) Is the computer Sound Card, MIDI Controller, SysEx Librarian, etc... set to MIDI Channel 1?
4) Is the computer Sound Card, MIDI Controller, SysEx Librarian, sending MIDI data to the Alpha Juno?
5) Make sure the patch librarian or SysEx program can send and receive SysEx data to and from the Alpha Juno
6) Do you have two MIDI cables connected? Two are required because SysEx uses both MIDI IN and MIDI OUT


* Note: If your synth locks up at the Bulk Load MIDI.o message, try adjusting the transmit settings of your SysEx program to a slower speed
I Changed The Internal Battery But I'm Still Getting The Error Message "Check Battery!!" What's Wrong? After changing a battery, the system needs to have its RAM initialized. This procedure will initialize the RAM and set the TUNE / SYSTEM / MIDI parameters back to their defaults. During this procedure, the LCD window will briefly display "Initlz Funct ram"

MKS-50
With the power OFF, press and hold the [ PATCH A↔B ] + [ DATA TRANSFER ] buttons and then power ON the synthesizer


Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2
Power ON the synthesizer
Set the MEMORY PROTECT SWITCH on the back of the keyboard to the OFF position
Power OFF the synthesizer
Press and hold the [ PORTAMENTO ] + [ DATA TRANSFER ] buttons and then power ON the synthesizer


SynthPlus 10 / SynthPlus 80
Power ON the synthesizer
Set the MEMORY PROTECT SWITCH on the back of the keyboard to the OFF position
Power OFF the synthesizer
Press and hold the [ BRILLIANCE ] + [ DATA TRANSFER ] buttons and then switch the power on


MKS-50 ZONE To resume normal operation, cycle the power and verify the "Check Battery!!" error message no longer appears

If the "Check Battery!!" error message persists after trying the steps shown above, you may need to initialize the entire system. See Step #9 of the SUPER JX Battery Replacement Guide
Why Does My MKS‑50 And/Or Other MIDI Instruments Act Sluggish? If you have more than three MIDI devices plugged into the your chain of MIDI THRU connectors, use an optional MIDI THRU box

The Buttons On My MKS‑50 Are Working Intermittently Or Sticking. Is There A Way To Fix Them? 30 Years later, the buttons (tact switches) are starting to fail. The best solution is to replace all of them at the same time because if you only replace a few, others are bound to fail soon after. eBay and other vendors sell complete sets of tact switches and these range anywhere from $30 USD to $92 USD. Ouch! You can save a lot of money buying them instead from an electronics supplier such as mouser.com

A total of 18 switches are needed (Do yourself a favor and buy a couple of spares because... shit happens)

MKS-50_TACT         Brand Name: ALPS
        Manufacturer P/N: SKHHBSA010
        Mouser P/N: 688-SKHHBS (about $3 USD for a set of 18)
        Operating Force: 2.6 Newton**
        Operating Life: 200,000 cycles
        Size: 9.5mm (H) x 6mm (W) x 6mm (D)

** Original MKS-50 factory tact switches had a 2.6 Newton Operating Force
    (Roland P/N: 13159154 - ALPS P/N: SKHHBS)
    This same switch is also used on the MKS-70 synth



The Operating Life for these switches is realistically, probably 10 years until stress and/or oxidation starts to set in and they become intermittentSUPER JX. Removing old tact switches from the PCB is a matter of personal preference. The method I prefer is;

Use a small sharp pair of diagonal flush wire cutters and cut all four leads off from the top side of the PCB. Take extra care not to wedge the wire cutters in‑between the base of the tact switch and the PCB when cutting the leads. This places excess force on the eyelet trace on the underside of the PCB causing possible damage. Use a solder sucker, a fine tipped soldering iron or a stainless steel hollow desoldering needle and remove the leftover pins from the PCB holes. Remove any excess solder remaining in the holes. The eyelet traces on the brittle 30‑year old PCB are very fragile. Take extra care not to lift them off the surface of the PCB while desoldering. Using too much heat or keeping the soldering iron too long in one spot usually leads to this type of problem. Also, use caution when removing and replacing the four black button assemblies on the Panel Board. The thin tabs are quite fragile and as you can imagine, replacement buttons are nearly impossible to find

As an extra measure of making sure the buttons provide good response, I also added an extremely small amount of very fine oil on the plastic areas on the side of the buttons where they rub together. It's important not to overdo the oil because it has no place to go as it's not absorbed and all surfaces are flat. Sewing machine oil is ideal. Don't use WD‑40 because it's too harsh and will remove the ink used to stencil the button text

PANEL_BOARD
MKS-50 Panel Board before and after the tact switches are removed

Note: I've include this image with D19 (MIDI MESSAGE LED) and CN2 highlighted for a reason. Be sure to inspect the solder connections on the backside of your Panel Board at these two locations. On my MKS‑50, there were two pins at D19 and CN2 which were never soldered onto the circuit board at the factory! This explains why my MIDI MESSAGE light never worked!!! I wonder how many units rolled off the Roland assembly line with this same problem?
What Are The Main Differences Between The Five Synths?
               Keyboard      Keyboard     Keyboard    Keyboard Dynamics   Tape    M-64C   Built-In
                 Size       Aftertouch    Velocity      And Pressure      Save    Save    Speakers
              -----------   ----------   ----------   -----------------   ----    -----   --------
Alpha Juno-1    49 Keys     MIDI ONLY    MIDI ONLY       EV-5 & MIDI      YES      NO        NO
SynthPlus 10    49 Keys     MIDI ONLY    MIDI ONLY       EV-5 & MIDI      YES      NO        NO
Alpha Juno-2    61 Keys     YES & MIDI   YES & MIDI       YES & MIDI      NO       YES       NO
SynthPlus 80    61 Keys     YES & MIDI   YES & MIDI       YES & MIDI      YES      NO        YES
MKS-50        NO KEYBOARD   MIDI ONLY    MIDI ONLY        MIDI ONLY       YES      NO        NO
AUDIO OUTS
How Does The MKS-50 Tone And Patch Structure Differ From The Alpha Juno And SynthPlus Keyboards? All five synthesizers use nearly identical electronics and with a few slight differences, share the same MIDI System Exclusive data structure. The main difference is the way the MKS‑50 stores Tones and Patches when saving *.SYX files. The Alpha Juno‑1, Alpha Juno-2, SynthPlus 10 and SynthPlus 80 are identical in that they both have 64 Tones stored in RAM and 64 Tones hard‑coded on ROM. Just like the the other four synths, the MKS‑50 also has a 128 Tone configuration but all of the Tones are stored in RAM*. The MKS‑50 also has an additional 128 Patch settings and 64 Chord Memory settings. The MKS‑50 saves both Tone banks, both Patch banks, and the Chord Memory data separately. The additional Patch settings control parameters such as Portamento Time, Detune, MIDI Aftertouch, etc... If you use one of the other four synths and have found that you can't load some of the *.SYX files floating around on the Internet, it is most likely because those files contain Patch or Chord Memory data for an MKS-50. Some of the culprit files on the Internet which won't load into the other four synths are MKS50_P1.SYX through MKS50_P7.SYX. When trying to load these, an error message appears in the display which reads Bulk DT‑MISMATCH or Bulk Load ERR!

Another file floating around the Internet is direct from Roland and contains the factory presets for the MKS‑50. One would think that this will load into the other four synths but it will not. The filename is MKS50rig.MID and is in a MIDI sequencer file format, not SysEx. Roland chose the MIDI sequencer file format to distribute these datasets because they can fit the equivalent of five data files into one file. This file contains five datasets; Tone Group 'a', Tone Group 'b', Patch Group 'A', Patch Group 'B' and Chord Memory. When played using a sequencer, it loads these five datasets one after the other. In my opinion, this file is a big waste of time trying to troubleshoot connectivity problems. Just use *.SYX files, save yourself some time and be done with it. I chose not to make this file available for downloading on the TONES page

* The MKS‑50 stores all 128 Tones in RAM but also has an additional 64 Tones hard-coded onto ROM. These 64 Tones are not accessible during normal use but are designed to be copied from ROM IC7 to RAM IC8 during an Initialization Reset back to a default factory setting (when the [ 4 ] + [ 8 ] buttons are held down during a power‑up and the LCD display reads "FACTORY PRESET"). The 64 Tones stored on ROM IC7 are the same Tones in the *.SYX file called FACTORYA.SYX and are copied into Tone Group 'a'
If I Don't Have An External Keyboard Or Computer Connected via MIDI, How Do I Check If My MKS-50 Is Working? Select any Tone from the front panel and then press the [ VALUE Δ ] button to simulate a MIDI Note ON. You will hear what the currently selected Tone sounds like (the 'A' note above Middle C will sound)
I'm Having Problems Saving And Loading Tones Using The Tape Interface On The MKS-50, Alpha Juno-1 And SynthPlus 10. What Can I Do To Fix It? Seriously? It's the 21st Century! Use a computer to save and load your sounds. The tape interface feature was added because back in the mid-1980's computers were expensive and not everyone could afford to have one in their music studio. Cassette was king in the 1980's and it was an inexpensive way to save data
How Do I Change The Internal Back-Up Battery? CR2032 BatteryI recommend that you take your synthesizer to a Roland Authorized Service Center because installing a new battery is a tedious task. The battery is soldered onto the main circuit board. But...... if you're a real sicko like me and insist on saving pennies because you have that foolish "I can do that myself" attitude...... then...... detailed instructions are available. A big advantage of taking it to a Roland Authorized Service Center is that if they accidentally "pop" an IC because of static discharge, the cost is on them;

         MKS-50 Battery Replacement Guide
The Aftertouch Stopped Working On My Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 80 Keyboard. How Do I Fix It? This is a very common problem with Alpha Juno‑2 and SynthPlus 80 keyboards. This is probably one of two problems

Problem #1 - The Aftertouch Ribbon Cable Connector
Some owners have reported finding that a small 2‑conductor ribbon cable has popped out of it's connector. This small ribbon cable connects the Aftertouch circuit to the very tiny Connector Board and then to the Main Board. Some well travelled synths are susceptible to this ribbon cable popping out while on the road or being shipped somewhere. Also, previous owners and service techs have sometimes neglected to plug it back in. It's quite easy to overlook during reassembly. The Aftertouch circuit on a Roland U‑20 has an identical setup. Look here for an image of the ribbon cable and its connector


Problem #2 - Aftertouch Strip Oxidation Buildup
Over time, oxidation will build up on the carbon contact strips and they need to be cleaned. The actual solution is a simple fix but it is a very, VERY time consuming process to gain access to the Aftertouch strip;

1) Disassemble the synth as shown in Step 1 through Step 5 of the Battery Replacement Guide
       Use extreme caution when removing the Keyboard Chassis so that the Main PCB is not damaged
2) Remove all the springs on the keyboard. The springs for black keys and white keys are different so keep them separated
3) Remove the transparent plexi covers holding the keys in place
4) Remove all the keys and keep them in order. Maybe even write down the number sequence on the underside of each key
5) Remove the long felt strip to expose the carbon contact strips
6) Use a Q‑Tip and 91% isopropyl alcohol to clean the carbon contact strips and the top cover
       DO NOT overclean the carbon contact strips because you might rub off all of the carbon layer!
7) Reassemble everything and remember to plug in the small 2-conductor ribbon cable back into the tiny Connector Board

Note: If the suggestions above don't work for you, there are some very good tips and tricks from Roland JX‑10 owners who have repaired the aftertouch on their keyboard using Zoflex and graphite powder. You may find some of the information at the JX-10 Aftertouch Page useful since the same principles of restoring aftertouch apply here
How Do I Replace A Broken Key And/Or Troubleshoot Non-Working Keys On My Alpha Juno-1, Alpha Juno-2, SynthPlus 10 Or SynthPlus 80? Key Replacement DIYErick Tejkowski has created an excellent photo DIY guide for replacing broken keys;

         MKS-50 Key Replacement Guide


Jim Atwood provides some tips for keyboard problems including PCB repairs, dead key troubleshooting and cleaning key contacts;

         MKS-50 Jim Atwood In Japan
How Difficult Is It To Repair Or Replace A Defective Rotary Encoder On The Alpha Juno‑2? Good Question! Guy Wilkinson has put together an incredibly detailed DIY for replacing the encoder on a JX-10 and MKS-70. With a few wire swaps, those same instructions can also be used to replace the Alpha Juno‑2 encoder for less than $2! I've put together an image which details the wire swaps. You will initially need to reference the supersynthprojects.com website then use this new image for the connections. This encoder replacement DIY is quite easy and the price is way, WAY low!!! As a bonus, I find working with the new Bourns encoder better than the original. Why? The original encoder resolution is 40 Pulses Per Rotation (PPR) and the new one is 24 PPR which makes Tone values easier to select due to the slightly slower rotary swipes. These instructions are for the Alpha Juno‑2 and HS‑80 but with a little sleuthing and wire matching, they will also work for the Alpha Juno‑1, HS‑10 and S‑10. All these synths use the same encoder. Just from looking at the Alpha Juno‑1 and HS‑10 schematics, it appears that the 3-pin JST connector wiring is identical. Please send me an eMail with details if you update your Alpha Juno‑1 or HS‑10 so I can update the documentation for other synth owners

NEW_ENCODER
(click for larger image)


The other question is, "How hard it is to repair a defective encoder?" I've never opened up an Alpha‑Dial encoder myself, but here are some detailed images courtesy of Nikolaus Riehm at studiorepair.com. From the looks of it, if it's a minor problem like cleaning the contacts, the outer case can be opened up easily. However, I recommend getting the replacement encoder since the original is 30+ years old

Encoder Encoder Encoder
(click images for larger versions)

         MKS-50 Some More Cool And Very Detailed Alpha Juno Pics Are Here
My Bender Bar / Modulation Bar Is Acting Bizarre. How Do I Fix It?
AJ2_BENDER_BAR
Alpha Juno-2 Bender Bar Wiring (click for larger image)
Sometimes, the Bender Bar / Modulation Bar on the Alpha Juno‑2 will become mis‑aligned if it takes a hard knock during transport or shipment. There is a hex screw and also an additional metal shaft underneath the bender bar. Both of these can become loose. Jim Atwood provides some excellent tips for Alpha Juno‑2 Bender Bar / Modulation Bar alignments and cleaning

         MKS-50 Jim Atwood In Japan


I have added the image on the right as a wiring reference after one online visitor reported that his Bender Bar was completely broken off as a result of shipping damages to his Alpha Juno‑2. All of the wires were snapped off from the precision potentiometer. Yeow!!! Even with a schematic, that's a tough one to solve without having another Alpha Juno‑2 nearby to reference

AJ2_BENDER_BAR
Ouch!!!
I want To Create Custom Tone Banks. Can I Save Individual Tones Via SysEx And Load Them Back Into My Synth At Different Locations Using A Generic SysEx Program?
Who Dat?
The answer is Yes and No. Mostly No
Roland does weird things with their older synths and SysEx commands, especially with the Alpha Juno‑1, Alpha Juno‑2 and MKS‑50

In short, you can save individual Tones to a Mac or PC in individual SysEx files using a generic SysEx program like Snoize or SendSX, load them back into the Alpha Juno‑1 and Alpha Juno‑2 and save them back to a different Tone location however... the original Tone names are missing!!! MKS-50 MIDI implementation does transmit Tone names but it's still screwed up because it doesn't work with Patches. Sheesh!

In the Alpha Juno‑1 and Alpha Juno‑2 Owner's Manual in the MIDI Implementation Chart at the back of the book;

     Section 4 ‑ Recognized Exclusive Messages
     All Tone Parameters WITHOUT Tone Names


It's really screwy with Roland's design. I have no idea why they implemented it this way. Everything is sent to the synth and the Tone name even appears in the LCD window but it won't save the Tone name. It might be because they ran out of room on the EPROM chip. Dunno. Screwy. The way to do that, if needed, is below. This procedure might be useful for a one‑shot use of sending and saving Tone parameters but it's probably a waste of time to reorganize an entire bank of 64 Tones or Patches since you will need to change the Tone or Patch name for each one


Alpha Juno‑1 / Alpha Juno‑2 / HS‑10 / HS‑80
Ensure that both MIDI In and MIDI Out cables are connected
Set the Mem Protect switch on the back of the synth to the OFF position
Press the MIDI button and set the parameter System Exclusive = ON
Set your SysEx program to capture the data (If using Snoize, press "Record Many")
Press PRESET 8 3 on the synth. This will send all of the parameters for Tone 83 TwiliteZne to the SysEx program
Save the SysEx file
Press MEMORY 1 1
Use your SysEx program to send the same SysEx file back to the synth (If using Snoize, press "Play")
You will notice the LCD now reads M‑11* TwiliteZne
The asterisk indicates the current Tone data has changed. Play a key and you will hear the TwiliteZne Tone at location M‑11. So... all of the Tone data parameters were sent and saved, but not the Tone name


MKS‑50
Ensure that both MIDI In and MIDI Out cables are connected
Press the TUNE/MIDI button and set these parameters:
  TUNE > 442 <
  MIDI CHANNEL=  1
  MIDI OMNI   = OFF
  MIDI PROG.CG= ON
  PCH ASG MODE= ON
  TX C.M. APR = ON
  TX PATCH APR= ON
  TX TONE APR = ON
  MEM. PROTECT= OFF
Press the TONE a←→b button
Call up a Tone you want to save such as T‑a83 TwiliteZne
Run your SysEx program on the Mac or PC and set it to capture the SysEx data (If using Snoize, press "Record Many")
Press the 8 then the 3 button on the MKS‑50 (This sends all the Tone Data via SysEx)
Save the SysEx file
To place the Tone T‑83 TwiliteZne into a different location in the MKS‑50 (for example to place it in location T-a12) press
     the 1 then the 2 button on the MKS‑50
A new Tone appears such as T‑a12 JazzGuitar
Use your SysEx program to send the SysEx file back to the synth (If using Snoize, press "Play")
You will notice the LCD reads T=a12*TwiliteZne (The asterisk indicates the Tone has been changed but not saved)
Press the WRITE button on the MKS‑50
The LCD reads T‑a12 → a12 ok ?
Press the WRITE button again and the the new Tone is saved
Now TwiliteZne should be in the T‑a12 Tone slot
This procedure does save all the Tone parameters and does save the Tone name. However, the Patch name remains the same

Where Can I Get MKS-50, Alpha Juno And HS Questions Answered?
A popular online forum for getting a lot of synthesizer related questions answered is at gearsz.com;

         SUPER JX http://gearsz.com



Also, there is a discussion group specifically for MKS‑50 and Alpha Juno Series synthesizers at YAHOO. Joining is FREE and easy;

"Description: All the Junos in this series have the same synth engine although they have differing features. The actual Juno‑2 keyboard keys respond to velocity, the Juno‑1 and HK‑10 keyboards do not, although played through midi with a velocity keyboard it does work. These synths can be programmed with the Roland PG‑300 or software midi editors. Please visit the file section for patches and software editors. The filter can be controlled in a sequencer via MIDI aftertouch with the setting: VCF AFTR=15 ."

 To Subscribe, visit;

         SUPER JX http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alphajuno-mks50/





* * * ROM IC VERSIONS * * *

To my knowledge, there are no buttons you can press to determine the ROM IC version of the MKS‑50 or Alpha Juno‑1. The only way is to open up the case and read the label. The red dots and/or labels will show the current version number. Please send me an eMail if you have a different version from the ones shown here. I would like to update this page with accurate information. Gold Stars awarded if an image is attached

You can check the ROM version on the Alpha Juno‑2, SynthPlus 10 and SynthPlus 80 synths

Alpha Juno‑2
Press and hold the [ PORTAMENTO ] + [ MOD RATE ] buttons and turn on the power. The LCD window will briefly display a message similar to 'Ver 4.3 2.12 86'

SynthPlus 10 and SynthPlus 80

Press and hold the [ BRILLIANCE ] + [ DATA TRANSFER ] buttons and turn on the power. The LCD window will briefly display a message similar to 'Ver 4.7h 7.03 86'

Alpha Juno‑1 and MKS‑50
[The procedure for checking the ROM version on these two synths is unknown]
MKS-50

MKS-50 ZONE

IC7 on the PCB
ROM LABEL    (LCD DISPLAY)
----------   -------------

VER. 1.02
This version is actually shown as
v2.10 11.07 86 in the EPROM binary code 
* The final ROM IC version is [unknown]

Burn your own MKS‑50 ROM here
VER 1.02 ROM IC Fixes These Bugs
[unknown]
Alpha Juno-1

MKS-50 ZONE

IC10 on the PCB

ROM LABEL   (LCD DISPLAY)
---------   -------------

VER. 1.4
VER. 1.5
VER. 2.3U
VER. 2.5U
VER. 2.6U
* The final ROM IC version is unknown
VER 1.5 ROM IC Fixes These Bugs
1) Increases the resolution of a transmitted MIDI data "Pitch Bender Change"; from 9 bits to 14 bits
2) Correct LCD misdisplay taking "Successive TUNE/FUNT or MIDI writing" against MEMORY PROTECT
3) Change MIDI exclusive receiving routine to relieve one JU‑1 from: being its certain functions, expect keyboard play, disturbed by a received exclusive message including TONE NAME sent from the other JU‑1
4) Eliminate discrepancy between parameter value and LCD indication in TONE MODIFY mode. If ALPHA‑DIAL is overturned past an "extreme" on the display in TONE MODIFY mode, a parameter follows the rotation up to several turns, incrementing or declementing its value. Returning the dial, however, does not allow the display to keep the "extreme" indication waiting for the parameter value to match. (i.e. The indication shifts toward the center, leaving the discrepancy between the extreme and the over-value. Ver. 1.5 defeats the ALPHA‑DIAL output exceeding an extreme.
Alpha Juno-2

MKS-50 ZONE

IC24 on the PCB
ROM LABEL   (LCD DISPLAY)
---------   -------------
VER. 1.1
VER. 1.2
VER. 1.4
VER. 2.1U
VER. 2.2U
VER. 2.4U
VER. 2.5U   (Ver 4.3 2.12 86)
* The final ROM IC version is unknown

Burn your own Alpha Juno‑2 ROM here
VER 1.4 ROM IC Fixes These Bugs
1) Change MIDI exclusive receiving routine to relieve one JU‑2 from its certain functions, except keyboard play, being disturbed by an exclusive message including TONE NAME sent from other aJUNO.

2) When the JU‑2 receives a mono mode (m=1) message, it turns CHORD MEMORY ON. The JU‑2 with earlier ROM version (1.1, 1.2, 2.1U or 2.2U) does not turn it ON.

SynthPlus 10

MKS-50 ZONE

IC10 on the PCB
ROM LABEL   (LCD DISPLAY)
---------   -------------

VER. 1.0
* The inal ROM IC version is unknown
VER 1.0 ROM IC Fixes These Bugs
[unknown]
SynthPlus 80

MKS-50 ZONE

IC24 on the PCB
ROM LABEL   (LCD DISPLAY)
---------   -------------

VER. 5.0
* The final ROM IC version is unknown
VER 5.0 ROM IC Fixes These Bugs
[unknown]




* * * SPECS * * *
DIMENSIONS WIDTH DEPTH HEIGHT WEIGHT
MKS-50 18 7/8' (480 mm) 11 7/16' (290 mm) 1 3/4' (44 mm) 7 lb.  12 oz. (3.5 kg)
Alpha Juno-1
31 1/2' (802 mm) 9 1/2' (240 mm) 3 1/8' (79 mm) 11 lb.  14 oz. (5.4 kg)
Alpha Juno-2 38 1/4' (972 mm) 9 5/8' (246 mm) 3 3/8' (85 mm) 16 lb.  9 oz. (7.5 kg)
SynthPlus 10 31 1/2' (802 mm) 9 1/2' (240 mm) 3 1/8' (79 mm) 11 lb.  14 oz. (5.4 kg)
SynthPlus 80 38 9/16' (980 mm) 13 3/16' (350 mm) 3 15/16' (100 mm) 30 lb.  14 oz. (14.0 kg)
Built-In Stereo Speakers And Amplifier
AUDIO POWER AUDIO OUTPUT ANALOG LOWPASS FILTER POLYPHONIC VOICES
MKS-50  16W -3dBm -24dB/oct 6
Alpha Juno-1
Alpha Juno-2
SynthPlus 10
12W -3dBm -24dB/oct 6
SynthPlus 80 45W -3dBm -24dB/oct 6
PRODUCTION YEAR RETAIL PRICE (USD) KEYBOARD MEMORY
MKS-50 1986 $749 USD None
(Velocity, Dynamics and Aftertouch via MIDI)
128 Tones (RAM) / 128 Patches (RAM)
16 Chords (RAM) / 64 System Init Tones (ROM) *More
Alpha Juno-1
1985 $999 USD 49 Keys - 4 Octaves
(Velocity, Dynamics and Aftertouch via MIDI)
64 Tones (ROM) / 64 Tones (RAM)
Alpha Juno-2
1985 $1,299 USD 61 Keys - 5 Octaves
(Velocity, Dynamics and Aftertouch)
64 Tones (ROM) / 64 Tones (RAM)
64 Tones (Optional RAM Cartridge)
SynthPlus 10 1986 $999 USD 49 Keys - 4 Octaves
(Velocity, Dynamics and Aftertouch via MIDI)
64 Tones (ROM) / 64 Tones (RAM)
SynthPlus 80 1986 $1,699 USD 61 Keys - 5 Octaves
(Velocity, Dynamics and Aftertouch)
64 Tones (ROM) / 64 Tones (RAM)
INTERNAL BATTERY** POWER CABLE (US)
P/N: CR2032 CR2032 Battery


** SUPER JX Battery Replacement DIY
ROLAND P/N: 2P-AC1

HOSA P/N: PWC-178
AC Power Cable
2-Prong Square Connector 110V / 117V

8ft Cables Only $11.49 @ sweetwater.com + FREE Ship!
MKS-50 Power Mod IconTired of always looking for that oddball 2-Prong AC power cable? I was... and I did something about it.

Here's a super simple mod that will let you use the more common 3‑Prong AC cable. The mod is so simple that all it needs is a picture to explain. It's easy as 'connect the dots'. If you buy the correct sized AC power adapter, it's a 1 for 1 swap, no case modification and no sheet metal to cut. There's even a pre-drilled hole in the case for the ground wire. Just piggy‑back onto one of the screw holes used for the serial number plate. Easy!

The image shows the mod for an MKS-‑50 but this should also work with an Alpha Juno‑1, Alpha Juno‑2, SynthPlus 10, SynthPlus 80, JX‑10, and MKS‑70. If you are using a synth with something running other than 110/117V AC, please note... this mod has NOT been verified to work on a synth running 220V/240V. This mod is only for those with electronics experience. Author accepts no liability if you damage your synth or kill yourself. Always keep one hand behind your back while working with electricity. It's the best way to stay alive.

MKS-50 Link Arrow AC Power Receptacle Replacement DIY
High Quality Replacement Power Switch [ Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 10 / SynthPlus 80 ]
Power Rating: 6A @ 250V AC

Type: SPST w/Solder Lugs

Panel Opening: 13mm x 19mm
JX-10 ROCKER SWITCH JX-10 ROCKER SWITCH JX-10 ROCKER SWITCH JX-10 ROCKER SWITCH
P/N @ mouser.com 633-CWSA11AANS* 633-CWSA11AAN1S 633-CWSA11AAN2S 633-CWSA11AAN3S
* The original rocker switch has no actuator markings on the face like some of these replacements. The original switch has a red bar which appears on the lower side when the switch is turned on. It's a totally useless design because you can't even see the red bar unless your eyelevel is underneath the synth! Weird!! I've concluded that the power switch was installed upside‑down at the factory because when you view the label on the switch from inside the Alpha Juno‑1/2 case, the lettering is upside‑down (every Alpha Juno‑1/2, JX‑10 and U‑20 I've ever seen is the same way as shown here)

The replacement switch most similar to the original is Mouser P/N: 633‑CWSA11AANS but it does not have the red bar so... it's even worse than the original!! I've always hated the original switch because it was so difficult to see against the dark backplate. I opted to replace mine with P/N: 633‑CWSA11AAN1S because it has more visibility. The price for P/N: 633‑CWSA11AAN1S as of January 2017 was $1.80 USD. The original rocker switch (Roland P/N: 13149108) was also used on a zillion other Roland synths and devices some of which include the Super JX‑10, JX‑8P, Juno 60/106, U‑20, JV‑80, JD‑800, D‑10/20/50/70, MK‑80, and MPU‑101
Average Quality Replacement Power Switch [ Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 10 / SynthPlus 80 ]
Power Rating: 6A @ 250V AC

Type: DPST w/Solder Lugs

Panel Opening: 13mm x 19mm
JX-10 ROCKER SWITCH JX-10 ROCKER SWITCH
SKU# @ taydaelectronics.com A-5091 A-5092
I'm posting these two alternative switches from Tayda because of the low cost and high visibility of the red switch A‑5092. These are DPST switches, have the same power rating and will work equally well as the switches from Mouser. The price for these as of January 2017 was only 25¢. After evaluating all types, I prefer the higher quality switches from Mouser
Replacement Power Switch [ MKS-50 Only ]
Power Rating: 5A @ 250V AC

Type: ON/OFF w/Four Solder Lugs
MKS-70 POWER SWITCH
P/N: ALPS: SDGA3P           Sony/JVC/Panasonic: 554-880-12           Roland: 13129124
If your old switch is experiencing problems, don't bother trying to repair it. Some of the parts inside this model are sealed in plastic and other parts are wired in place. Repairing it is a lost cause. This power switch works with the MKS‑50 and a wide selection of other Roland synths and samplers including the D‑110, D‑550, GM‑70, JV‑880, MKS‑20, MKS‑70, MKS‑80, MKS‑100, S‑220, S‑550 and U‑220. In the 1980's and 1990's, this power switch was also used with a variety of Sony/JVC/Panasonic TV's and component stereo devices. This power switch is quite robust and therefore more expensive than most. Replacements can be found on eBay for about $17 (USD). Do a keyword search for "ALPS  SDGA3P"




* * * ACCESSORIES * * *
PG-300 PROGRAMMER

The PG‑300 programmer gives easy access to all of the editing features on all five synths. Most MKS‑50 owners prefer this editing device compared to software editors or the Alpha‑Dial because of ease of use and functionality. The PG‑300 allows real-time editing which enables the user to change sounds while playing live. It is also possible to use the PG‑300 to send editing parameters via MIDI for live MIDI sequencing. Unlike the PG‑800 Programmer for the JX‑10 and MKS‑70 synthesizers, this device does not need a proprietary 8‑Pin DIN cable. It uses standard MIDI cables for communication with it's host. This external plug‑in device is extremely hard to find on the used market at a reasonable price. The original retail price in 1986 was $264. The used price today........Fuhgettaboutit!



MKS-50 ZONE
BEHRINGER BCR2000

Compared to a PG‑300 or KIWI PE, the BCR2000 is a low cost alternative Patch editor and MIDI controller. Plus, the BCR2000 works with several other synths

Custom template overlays and *.BCR, *.SYX control files are available for downloading in the FILES section at the Yahoo group titled "The Roland Alpha Juno Series email list". Joining is FREE and easy;

To Subscribe, visit;

         SUPER JX https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/alphajuno-mks50/info


Tip: One of the best prices I've seen anywhere for the BCR2000 in the USA is at sweetwater.com. The price as of January 2017 was $149 (USD) which includes FREE shipping + FREE 2Year Extended Warranty
BCR2000
KIWITECHNICS PATCH EDITOR

There's a new kid on the block. The Kiwitechnics Patch Editor is an external hardware device similar to the PG‑300. It offers patch editing functionality on a whole new level. This device works with the MKS‑50, Alpha Juno‑1, Alpha Juno‑2 and several other synths including the MKS‑70, Oberheim Matrix 6 + 1000, Korg DW‑8000 + M1, Waldorf Pulse and many more. There's a great video at the Kiwitechnics web-page demonstrating what it can do with an Alpha Juno‑2

More info at;

         SUPER JX kiwitechnics.com
Kiwi

MEMORY CARTRIDGE M-64C / Symphony 128 S64
[ Alpha Juno Only ]


NOTE: ALWAYS SET THE PROTECT SWITCH TO THE "ON" POSITION BEFORE INSERTING OR REMOVING THE M64C

If you have an M‑64C which was used on a different piece of Roland gear (TR‑707, GR‑700, etc...) and you want to use it with your Alpha Juno‑2, set the PROTECT switch to the 'OFF' position. Use the WRITE procedure twice. This same procedure is needed when initializing a blank M‑64C cartridge for the first time

The M‑64C cartridge is compatible with several Roland synthesizers and drum machines including the Alpha Juno‑2, Super JX‑10, MKS‑70, MKS‑80, JX‑8P, MKS‑20, MKS‑30, TR‑707, TR‑727, TR‑909, DDR‑30, GR‑700, and GR‑77B

Back in the 1980's, a company called Symphony Series, Inc. made a fantastic product called the Symphony 128/S64. The cool thing about this item was that it had two DIP switches to choose between four banks of Roland cartridge data. It was the equivalent of having four M‑64C cartridges available at the same time on an Alpha Juno‑2, JX‑10, MKS‑70 or four M‑16C cartridges available at the same time on a JX‑8P, TR‑707, TR‑727, GR‑700, MKS‑20, MKS‑30 and more. Nice!


BATTERY REPLACEMENT
MKS-50 ZONE
M‑64C cartridges use an internal lithium battery to hold the Tones in memory. One day that battery will die and the Tones will be lost. The life span of the battery is projected anywhere from five to ten years. Mine is still working fine after 27+ years. The internal battery is factory soldered in place onto the cartridge circuit board.

M‑64C Lithium Battery Replacement Part Number: CR‑1/3N
MKS-50 ZONE NOTE: DO NOT UNSOLDER THE BATTERY. THERE IS ALWAYS AN EXPLOSION RISK!
To remove the old battery, use a small pair of wire cutters to carefully cut both battery leads from the circuit board then discard the battery. Unsolder the leads left behind and remove all solder from the holes. Ensure the holes are large enough for the leads on the new battery. When soldering the new battery in place, use eye protection, a heat-sink and make very quick solder joints.

Replacement CR‑1/3N lithium batteries should be ordered with the 'PCB Pins' option. One company selling this specialty battery is;

         SUPER JX batteriesamerica.com

MKS-50 ZONE


An instruction sheet and a high resolution schematic for the M-64C cartridge is here


MKS-50 ZONE

Symphony 128/S64 4-Bank RAM cartridge
EV-5 EXPRESSION PEDAL
[ Alpha Juno And SynthPlus Only ]


Depending on which synthesizer you are using, this foot pedal containing variable resistors can control different Tone parameters in real-time

Alpha Juno‑1 / SynthPlus 10
The FOOT CONTROL jack is configured by pressing the TUNE/FUNCTION button and selecting FOOT CNT which allows three options;
   VOLUME - Varies the Min/Max Volume, just like moving the Volume Slider
    AFTER - Aftertouch sensitivity control for DCO, VCF and VCA parameters
   DYNMCS - Controls the Dynamics sensitivity for DCO, VCF and VCA parameters*
   * The Dynamics effect is determined by the position of the pedal when the key is played
  This means that the Dynamics effect is not affected by the pedal once the key is played

Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 80
   When plugged into the EXP PEDAL jack, this pedal varies the Min/Max Volume...
   just like moving the Volume Slider. No Aftertouch or Dynamics control is
   possible
   
The EV‑5 retails for the outrageous price of $119 USD and the EV‑7 retails for even more at $279 USD. It is a very simple circuit and it is quite easy to make an equivalent tabletop hand controlled input device using a couple of inexpensive potentiometers, a 1/4" stereo plug, an enclosure and 2‑conductor shielded cable.

Instead of buying the 1/4" stereo plug and 2‑conductor shielded cable separately, I suggest that you buy an inexpensive, ready‑made cable on eBay and snip off one end. That way, you'll have a 1/4" plug already soldered onto a cable which will eliminate extra work on your part. I have found this to be the least expensive route. I was able to build one for under $11 - and that includes the shipping charges! Granted, it's not a true foot controller but, it's still a useful real‑time input device
U-20 ZONE

U-20 Homepage EV-5 Owner's Manual
   (Japanese and English)
EV-5 DIY SCHEMATIC

Notes:
❖ Also works great with the Synthrotek MST Expressor Eurorack module
❖ There is an optional add‑on polarity switch mod which enables EV‑5 compatibility with non‑Roland gear. Details for adding this optional switch into the circuit are here
❖ The image shown on the right is a dual EV5 hand controller. This variation on the original design uses one 1/4" stereo output jack and one 3.5mm stereo output jack (hidden from view). Using output jacks instead of hard‑wiring the output cables was preferred since I already had several existing ready‑made cables. The knobs on top are the Main Controllers (VR1)
EV-5 DIY Parts List (Hand Controller Version)
Tayda P/N: A-1982 - 10K Ohm Linear Pot
Tayda P/N: A-1983 - 50K Ohm Linear Pot
Tayda P/N: A-5081 - 1/4' Stereo Plug
Tayda P/N: A-5166 - 1590A Enclosure
2-Conductor Shielded Cable (Shield = Ground)

taydaelectronics.com


SUPER JX ZONE
Variation: DIY Dual hand controller with optional ouput jacks

Adjusting the EV-5 Minimum Volume Knob

DP-6 PEDAL [ Momentary Switch ]
DP-8 / DP-10 PEDAL [ Momentary Switch + On/Off Switch ]
[ Alpha Juno And SynthPlus Only ]

This is a momentary foot‑switch for controlling different Tone parameter functions. Depending on how the Performance Control Functions are set by pressing the TUNE/FUNCTION button, this foot pedal can control PROGRAM SHIFT, PORTAMENTO* or CHORD MEMORY* parameters when plugged into the PEDAL SW Jack. When plugged into the PEDAL HOLD Jack, this momentary switch will retain the sound even after the key is released

The DP‑6 Has been discontinued but the DP‑8 and DP‑10 will function in the same manner as the DP‑6. Just set the Function Select switch (located on the side of the DP‑8 / DP‑10) to the "Switch" position

* When the PORTAMENTO or CHORD MEMORY parameters are selected, the effects are ON while the pedal is being depressed. If you wish to turn the effect ON and OFF alternately by depressing the pedal, use the optional Foot Switch FS‑1

MKS-50 ZONE

U-20 Homepage DP-8 Owner's Manual
DP-2 PEDAL SWITCH
[ Alpha Juno And SynthPlus Only ]


Same function as the DP‑6 pedal but the DP‑2 model costs less and is made mostly of plastic parts
MKS-50 ZONE
FS-1 FOOT SWITCH
[ Alpha Juno And SynthPlus Only ]


This is an ON/OFF switch and is made mostly of metal parts

* When the PORTAMENTO or CHORD MEMORY parameters are selected, the effects are turned ON and OFF alternately
MKS-50 ZONE
Pedal Model     Description            Product Status
-----------     ------------------     --------------
   FS-1         On/Off                 Discontinued
   DP-2         Momentary              Current
   DP-6         Momentary              Discontinued
   DP-8         Momentary + On/Off     Discontinued
   DP-10        Momentary + On/Off     Current
   EV-5         Variable Resistor      Current
   EV-7         Variable Resistor      Current
   EV-10        Variable Resistor      Discontinued




* * * ERROR MESSAGES * * *
 ERROR MESSAGE  RESOLUTION
 Check Battery!! 
This is caused by one of three problems;
    1) The battery has died MKS-50 Battery Replacement Guide
    2) The battery was replaced and a RAM Initialization is needed MKS-50 RAM Initialization Procedure
    3) A Full System Initialization is needed MKS-50 See Step #9 Of This Guide - 'Special Power-Up Sequence'
 Memory Protected
 The MEMORY PROTECT setting is turned ON. To turn it OFF;

 MKS-50
    Press the [ TUNE/MIDI ] button
    Press the [ PARAM ∇ ] button and the display will read MEM. PROTECT= OFF

 Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 10 / SynthPlus 80
    Locate the MEMORY PROTECT SWITCH on the back of the keyboard and change it to the OFF position
 TAPE Load ERR 
 Set the MEMORY PROTECT SWITCH = OFF, check the playback level, connections and verify you are using good quality tape
 TAPE Vrfy ERR 
 The data group to be loaded is different from the data group on the tape. Use a different tape
 TAPE DT MISMATCH 
 Set the MEMORY PROTECT SWITCH = OFF
 Bulk Load ERR 
 Check the MIDI cables, the receiving device, MIDI Channel #1, System Exclusive = ON, Write Protect = OFF
 Bulk Dump ERR 
 Check the MIDI cables, the receiving device and MIDI Channel #1
 Bulk DT MISMATCH 
 While loading Tone, Patch or Chord Memory data;

    The *.SYX file you are trying to load is incompatible / corrupted
        or
    The DATA TRANSFER mode was not set correctly

 MKS-50
    When pressing the [ DATA TRANSFER ] button, there are five different settings to choose from to load data;
   Bulk*Load  [ T-a ] - Choose this to load Tones into Tone Bank a
   Bulk*Load  [ T-b ] - Choose this to load Tones into Tone Bank b
   Bulk*Load  [ P-A ] - Choose this to load Patch parameters into Patch Bank A
   Bulk*Load  [ P-B ] - Choose this to load Patch parameters into Patch Bank B
   Bulk*Load  [ CM  ] - Choose this to load Chord Memory data
 Notice the *Asterisk* !!!
 If you choose a setting without the asterisk you won't be able to load or save any data on a computer or other external devices.
 The setting without an asterisk is only used if you have two MKS-50 modules and you want to transfer data from one to the other 
 Insert Cartridge 
 You have tried to use the Cartridge Group without connecting the Cartridge
 Cart Protected 
 You have tried to write into the cartridge with the protect switch on the cartridge set to the ON position




* * * MIDI SYSEX * * * 1111 0000 0100 0001 0100 0000 0000 0000 0010 0011 1111 0111
Important SysEx elements specific to the MKS-50, Alpha Juno and SynthPlus
   23H = Format Type (MKS-50, Alpha Juno-1, Alpha Juno-2, SynthPlus 10, SynthPlus 80)
         Note: Some manuals call this the MODEL-ID# or the FORMAT ID
   35H = Operation Code APR - All Parameters
   36H = Operation Code IPR - Individual Parameter
   37H = Operation Code BLD - Bulk Dump
     n = MIDI Channel#
    vv = Data Value
    tt = Tone Name
    pp = Program or Parameter Number

ALL PARAMETERS (APR) F0 41 35 0n 23 20 01 vv tt F7 All Tone Parameters w/Tone Names (MKS-50 and Alpha Juno)
INDIVIDUAL TONE PARAMETER (IPR) F0 41 36 0n 23 20 01 pp vv F7 Individual Tone Parameter (MKS-50 and Alpha Juno) BULK DUMP (BLD) F0 41 37 0n 23 20 01 00 pp vv F7 All Tone Data (MKS-50 and Alpha Juno) F0 41 37 0n 23 30 01 00 pp vv F7 All Patch Data (MKS-50 only) F0 41 37 0n 23 40 01 00 00 vv F7 All Chord Memory Data (MKS-50 only) Less frequently used SysEx commands; WANT TO SEND A FILE (WSF) 40H Request A FILE (RQF) 41H Data (DAT) 42H F0 41 40 0n 23 F7 F0 41 41 0n 23 F7 F0 41 42 0n 23 F7 ACKNOWLEDGE (ACK) 43H END OF FILE (EOF) 45H COMMUNICATION ERROR (ERR) 4EH F0 41 43 0n 23 F7 F0 41 45 0n 23 F7 F0 41 4E 0n 23 F7 ALL PATCH PARAMETERS (APR) 35H (MKS-50 Only) ALL CHORD MEMORY PARAMETERS (APR) 35H (MKS-50 Only) F0 41 35 0n 23 30 01 vv tt F7 F0 41 35 0n 23 40 01 vv F7




If you find any of the SysEx info above "interesting", you might like the following list.
I searched the web for a list of synthesizer and sampler 'Format Type', 'Format ID#' and 'Model ID#' codes.
I struck out... nowhere to be found so... I started compiling my own list. This is useful when coding for several synthesizers and samplers;
OBERHEIM (MIDI Manufacturer ID = 10) FORMAT TYPE / ID# - MODEL ID#
Matrix-12 / Xpander 02
Matrix-6 / Matrix-6R / Matrix-1000 06
E-MU (MIDI Manufacturer ID = 18) FORMAT TYPE / ID# - MODEL ID#
Proteus 1 / Proteus 2 / Proteus 3 / Proteus FX 04
Clavia (MIDI Manufacturer ID = 33) FORMAT TYPE / ID# - MODEL ID#
Nord Lead 04
KAWAI (MIDI Manufacturer ID = 40) FORMAT TYPE / ID# - MODEL ID#
K5 / K5m 02
K1 / K1m / K1r 03
K4 / K4r 04
ROLAND (MIDI Manufacturer ID = 41) FORMAT TYPE / ID# - MODEL ID#
JP-8000 06
S-10 10
D-50 / D-550 14
D-5 / D-10 / D-110 / D-20 / MT-32 / GR-50 16
S-50 18
S-330 / S-550 1E
MKS-80 20
JX-8P 21
Alpha Juno-1 / Alpha Juno-2 / SynthPlus 10 / SynthPlus 80 / MKS-50 23
U-110 (Note: This "23" differs from the Alpha Juno series because of the byte positioning) 23
JX-10 / MKS-70 24
U-20 / U-220 2B
S-700 / S-750 / S-760 / S-770 34
Rhodes Model 660 / Rhodes Model 760 35
D-70 39
JD-800 3D
JX-1 3E
JV-35 / JV-50 42
JV-30 42 or 4D
JV-80 / JV-90 / JV-880 / JV-1000 46
VK-1000 48
GR-1 54
JD-900 / JD-990 57
JV-1010 / JV-1080 / JV-2080 / XP-50 / XP-60 / XP-80 6A
XP-10 7B
KORG (MIDI Manufacturer ID = 42) FORMAT TYPE / ID# - MODEL ID#
M1 / M1R 19
Poly-800 / EX-800 21
M3 / M3R 75
T1 / T2 / T3 26
A1 2C
A2 2D
Triton 50
Wavestation / Wavestation SR / Wavestation A/D 28
01/W 2B
03R/W 30
05R/W 36
YAMAHA (MIDI Manufacturer ID = 43) FORMAT TYPE / ID# - MODEL ID#
FB-01 75
AKAI (MIDI Manufacturer ID = 47) FORMAT TYPE / ID# - MODEL ID#
S-700 47
S-1000 / S-2000 / S-2800 / S-3000 / S-3000XL / S-3200 / S-3200XL 48
S-900 / S-950 64
S-5000 / S-6000 5E




* * * BONUS * * *
BONUS MATERIAL! If you made it this far down the page, here's some extra stuff for you.

Watch Eric Persing explain the origins of the 'Hoover' sound. You might be be surprised!

Eric Persing

(Note: The video automatically skips ahead to 11:54)





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